April 15, 2008

The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia (2008)

Since the single replaced the album as the centerpiece of music marketing, it has been exceptionally infrequent that every song on an album captivates me. In this rare case, I believe that Saturnalia severs itself from this trend because every song feels utterly unique and formula free. Maybe this is the advantage and consequence of piecing an album together over 4+ years of song writing and recording. It is evident that the two minds behind Saturnalia summoned their collective daemons to put together one of the more sincere and striking albums of the year so far. Mark Lanegan's unfiltered growl mixes well with Greg Dulli's more mainstream and lyrical approach, making for a darker divergence from typical alternative-indie sounds. Arrangements shift from pensive acoustic guitar and piano to beat-driven electronica to forceful chords, while exploiting their contrasting vocal capabilities to both elevate and dredge the mood. I cannot promise that everyone will enjoy, but if you are like me and appreciate the darker, grittier, talent-laden underbelly of rock, you will. For stacking up the quality from beginning to end I must applaud.

Start with: “The Stations,” “BĂȘte Noire” & “All Misery/Flowers,” but tackle the album as a whole.


awmercy said...

You need to check out Greg Dulli's other bands, the Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers. I think you'd like both those bands a lot. I'd start with 1969 and Powder Burns.

Nightrain said...

Yeah. I've listened to a fair amount of Twilight Singers, but not too much Afghan Whigs—just the streaming stuff online.

What are your feelings on this album?

awmercy said...

An album like this, with dark moods and lyrics, will likely always be a grower for me. That said, I've liked what I've heard the first few times I've listened to it, BĂȘte Noire in particular.